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 Slave Caste in GAMBIA,YES TODAY !!!
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9533 Posts

Posted - 05 Nov 2018 :  23:02:12  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
By Kebba AF Touray, reporting from Sandu Diabugu, URR

November 5, 2018

A violent confrontation took place on Friday 2nd November 2018, at Diabugu village in the Sandu District of the Upper River Region. The fracas which is a by-product of an existing caste system, classifies some inhabitants of the village as freeborn and some as slaves.


According to Alagie Kursa Drammeh the Alkalo of Diabugu, the violence occurred as a result of the decision made by some youth in the village to cease membership of the village youth group; that following the clash, five members of the Drammeh kunda family were taken to the Basse Police station and are currently helping the police in their investigations into the incident.

Police PRO ASP Lamin Njie, confirmed the incident and said it is centred on a caste system that still exists today. He said five people have been arrested and charged with three counts of incitement of violence, prohibitive conduct conducive to breaches of the peace and common assault. He further said that the arrestees informed them that they intercepted certain people to prevent them from entering the village mosque under instructions, adding that investigations are ongoing and the matter will soon be brought to the court.

The five people arrested, according to the villagers are: Muhammed Hydara, Amara Gumaneh, Amara Njie, Ebrima Drammeh and Sinda Njie.


Speaking to Foroyaa, Gaindeh Jallow, a brother to Haruna Jallow, explained that his brother was instructed by the head of the youth group called “Kombo”, to blow the villages traditional horn, for villagers to gather as it is done by their tradition; that his brother Haruna, refused to comply with the tradition and was fined D2,500.

“I paid the fine for my brother, but advised Kombo that such perception should be relegated to history and henceforth we can use loudspeakers to call villagers whenever the need arises,” Gaindeh said.

According to him, the villagers insisted together with his family, Gaindeh should continue to recognise that they belong to the slave class and should play any role assigned to them, failing which they will be denied access to the mosques, water supply and other social amenities and will be banned from attending village ceremonies. “We have been subjected to all forms of inhumane and degrading treatments from those who claim to be the ‘nobles’. Currently, a relative who has come to visit me by the name Papa Sey, has been asked by these people to leave the village on the grounds that he is not a native of Diabugu,” Gaindeh told this reporter.

His brother Haruna Jallow on his part, explained that he went to the mosque for the Friday ‘Jumaa’ prayers and was intercepted at the entrance by some young people, who he alleged to be members of the Drammeh Kunda family. “I told them that I have come to observe Friday prayers, but not to ignite violence. They asked me to leave the mosque and when I insisted, they started beating me. Some villagers intervened and rescued me from them,” he explained; that this move by the attackers was as a result of his refusal to see and accept himself as a ‘slave’. “I sustained general body pain due to the beatings and was taken to the hospital where I was treated. They are demanded that I accept being a ‘slave’, otherwise they will kill me.”

Haruna called on Government to act swiftly and put an end to any reoccurrence of such attacks meted on them by the villagers of Diabugu in particular, the Drammeh Kunda family, if they do not want to see a bloody civil strife in the village, which can spill to other communities.


Alagie Morry Ceesay, the Imam of the mosque where the incident took place, disclosed that ten minutes before the ‘Jumaa’ prayers, he heard arguments at the entrance and some people advised him to shorten his sermon because of the ongoing violent confrontation.

Imam Ceesay alleged that Gaindeh Jallow was the one who instigated some youth to oppose the tradition of the village, by refusing to be in the ‘slave’ group; that the Police Officers who were ordered to come to the village, effected the arrest of some of villagers who were involved in the fight.

He informed this reporter that Diabugu comprises three broad kinships or “Kabilos” namely, Serna (the Alkalos), Gunjur (the Imams) and Ganyiaga (the traders). He said the Sillahs are the founders of the village; that when they migrated, they handed the village to the grandfather of the current Alkalo.

He called on the ‘slave’ class to respect the customs and tradition of the village, and urged Government to be proactive in dealing with the issue in the right manner.



The village and villagers of Diabugu are in turmoil. Arrests have taken place. Court action is anticipated. The consequences may have unsettled effects on the people of Diabugu. For fifty three years, Gambians have not been educated by the State to know what is right or wrong under the Law. They only know their traditional or customary norms, but do not know the Laws of the State. It is often said that ignorance of the Law is no excuse. It should be equally said that a State which makes Laws but makes no effort to inform the population to know it’s contents, is a tyrannical State governed by tyrannical Laws.

Sooner or later, those same people will find themselves before the Courts to be fined or jailed for breaking a Law they were not acquainted with. It is important for the educated residents of Diabugu to form a civic society group and go from home to home, to explain the content of Section 16 of the 1970 Constitution and Section 20 of the 1997 Constitution. Both Constitutions state the following in subsections (1) and (2):

“(1) No person shall be held in slavery or servitude.

(2) No person shall be required to perform forced labour.”

Gambia is a member of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human and Peoples Rights, a fundamental Constitutive document of the United Nations, states the following in Article 4:

“No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.”

Article 8 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states:

“1. No one shall be held in slavery; slavery and the slave-trade in all their forms shall be prohibited.

No one shall be held in servitude.
(a) No one shall be required to perform forced or compulsory labour…..”

This is and International Law which educated Gambians should convey to their fellow citizens for them to know that some of the customs and traditions could only be retained on a voluntary basis and not by might, which could bring them into direct confrontation with the State and the Law. This would lead to arrests, fines and imprisonment that would cause real hostility in villages. This should be avoided.

If outsiders go there to explain this to the people, they would be accused of trying to undermine the customs and tradition of the village. Hence this task of explaining what is provided by the Constitution and how those who refuse to abide by it could be subjected to legal proceedings, should be explained to the people by their own sons and daughters so that it would be easier for everyone to digest.

A Council of the wise from the seven administrative areas of the country, should be constituted with immediacy to visit Diabugu and discuss with all the kinships or Kabilos, to help find a lasting solution to this incident.

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.


9533 Posts

Posted - 05 Nov 2018 :  23:05:34  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
QUESTION OF THE DAY November 5, 2018

The state in a democratic society could be managed by any side of the political spectrum. If each side manages the instruments of the state as one wishes without adhering to laws and rules to be observed by all, each would favour one’s own and others would live in a state of fear. Affection would be shown to one’s own and ill will would be demonstrated to the other. There would be travesty of justice and peace would be imperilled. People would dig to support their own side and permanent division would remain in society.

However if there are democratic rules and leaders put their party tags behind and administer the state without fear or favour, affection or ill will, all will be motivated to accept the administration of each elected government and be ready to wait for the turn of the government they really support. This is what democracy embodies.

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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9533 Posts

Posted - 06 Nov 2018 :  13:16:31  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

The Barrow administration was initially crafted to be a transitional administration prior to the 2 December announcement of victory.

The Gambia is full of antagonistic contradictions, ranging from land disputes, disputes on harmful traditional practices and other cultural practices that may no longer be acceptable under international law and national constitutions.

For over fifty years these contradictions were kept under the carpet by previous administrations so that different sides of the customary or traditional spectrum would continue to support the political ambitions of the political players.

Consequently, many norms and values remain intact even though they were no longer permissible in a post-colonial set up where citizens were accorded rights to elect and remove their leaders as well as to stand for election regardless of religion, ethnicity, regional origin or gender. This is why the country had ministers, vice presidents and ambassadors who could be linked to different genders, ethnic groups, regions, religions and superior or inferior birth status according to tradition.

One expected the Barrow administration to create the transitional, political environment that would give Gambia a new start by addressing and resolving all the contradictions once and for all through reforms and civic education. Unfortunately, the late establishment and operation of institutions designed to carry out reforms has led to the bubbling up of the contradictions and the emergence of friction and even violent confrontation to settle land disputes and traditional status as well as labour and political disputes. The fire brigade method of trying to put off the fire instead of preventing it is not the best way of handling the situation during the post Jammeh era. The State Intelligence Service should be given the orientation and mandate to unearth all the antagonistic contradiction in the society and advise government agencies on why they should be prioritise to avoid national catastrophe.

Ecowas and its troops in The Gambia should be well briefed to know how they can add value to the stability of The Gambia. Recent developments in Diabugu and elsewhere should not be allowed to breed more civil strife. A Truth and Reconciliation Commission should be established to handle conflicts like that of Diabugu instead of taking the route of due process which is quite legitimate in a democratic society.

Transitions are however transitions. Successful transitions must have the ability to establish transitional justice systems that are required by time and circumstances.

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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9533 Posts

Posted - 07 Nov 2018 :  10:20:54  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
QUESTION OF THE DAY November 6, 2018

The answer is in the negative. The trial of those arrested did not proceed. Foroyaa is still calling on the state to handle this incident with tremendous care.

People are living under a state without most of them knowing its laws. Hence custom and tradition prevail over the laws of the state where people are ignorant of the law. The state must also accept responsibility for not educating its citizens to know where customs stop and where law begins and the implication of setting aside the law to impose customs and tradition by social sanctions.

Mediation and conciliation appear to be the best way forward. A council of the wise is still necessary to promote good neighbourliness in Diabugu.

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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9533 Posts

Posted - 08 Nov 2018 :  11:20:24  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
This is a VERY delicate situation and must be handled with the utmost care by ALL concerned because an ancient culture is at the heart of the problem in Diabugu village.
I suggest that there must be many communities in parts of NEW GAMBIA who still follow ancient ingrained customs ,the new generation of inhabitants have access to modern communications and can easily see progress elsewhere in NEW GAMBIA.

By Kebba Jefang / Lamin Fatty, URR Correspondent November 7, 2018

The Gambia Police Force (GPF), have confirmed that it has dispatched reinforcements to Diabugu village in Sandu district of the Upper River Region, to maintain peace and order in the wake of recent violent scuffles over the caste system.

As readers can recall, violent clashes broke out between the ‘freeborn’ and ‘slaves’ of the village last Friday, when the former attempted to deny the latter from observing Friday prayers due to the status of their social class. This was the information given to a Foroyaa reporter by the Station Officer (S.O) of Diabugu Police Station, Inspector Kumbi Sarjo.

According SO Sarjo, the freeborn including the Alkalo, laid down five conditions which include the following:

human remains of slaves will not be buried at the village’s cemetery;
they will not be allowed to pray in the village mosque;
they will not be allowed to attend any social activity within the village
they will not be allowed to use public water supply facilities such as taps and finally,
the Police Station be relocated from the village, because they no longer need their services.

S.O. Sarjo said they are facing challenges in their operations to maintain peace and stability in the community, because some of the natives see them differently; that some of the so called ‘freeborn’, think the Police are siding with the so called ‘slaves’; that this is eventually leading to some Officers renting in their compounds, to driven out.

S.O. express fears for the safety of the officers indicating the possibilities that they could be attacked by villagers.

However, Police spokesperson ASP Lamin Njie said the situation is now calm for the Police to stay, because the GPF Commander has dispatched a reinforcement team to maintain peace and order.

“The police are present in Diabugu to maintain the peace. We want to ensure that violence does not erupt in the village and for peace to prevail. The Station is not under threat so far, since the incident. All we are doing is to monitor the situation on the ground and ensure that such kind of issues do not erupt again,” said ASP Njie.

He said the monitoring is being done by the Police Reinforcement team.

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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9533 Posts

Posted - 09 Nov 2018 :  13:14:26  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
By Lamin Fatty, URR Correspondent November 8, 2018

Foroyaa has gathered that dialogue has taken place between the parties to a scuffle in Sandu Diabugu following a meeting at the Basse Police Station.

The scuffle led to an assault charge against five people who were schedule to appear before court on Wednesday. Reports have it that agreement has been reached which will see an assault charge on five ‘freeborn’ against the slaves settled out of court.

The five were charged with two counts of common assault and incitement of violence by the police regarding the scuffles that erupted when the ‘freeborn’ allegedly tried to stop the ‘slaves’ from observing Friday prayers last week based on their social status in the community.

Muhammad Drammeh, speaking on behalf of the nobles said the elders from both sides held talks with the Station Officer of Diabugu Police Station Inspector, Kumbi Sarjo when they eventually came to terms that case will be resolved by civil engagement.

He said they discussed and agreed that both sides will maintain peace in the community.

However, Drammeh informs that they are still maintaining two of the previous conditions as reported by this medium earlier.

According to him, one of these conditions will see One Papa Sey permanently leaving the community due to his influential role in the saga. Sey is said to have lived in the village for a long time but he did not originally hailed from there.

Secondly, Drammeh continued that they are still maintaining that slaves will not enter in the main mosque for prayers.

He said these conditions were agreed by both sides including the slaves in order to maintain peace.

However, Gaindeh Jallow who comes from ‘slave’ section denied signing any agreement on behalf of his side at the said meeting though he confirmed his attendance.

He said they did not agree to resolve the matter out of court as they are ready to proceed with the case to seek justice for their members who were allegedly assaulted.

Jallow also said they will be using the mosque situated in their area to observe their five-daily prayers and they will leave the village to observe Friday prayers elsewhere in the interest of peace.

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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9533 Posts

Posted - 09 Nov 2018 :  13:39:49  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
"Foroyaa will pursue this matter to promote a resolution of this teething problem confronting national unity and cohesion."

All communities and villages who hold onto the ancient ways MUST have their own talks and discussions if " national unity and cohesion." is to be achieved in NEW GAMBIA.

MAYBE consideration should be considered in making some members of those involved in the Sandu Diabugu resolution solving currently in progress ,roving Ambassadors to visit and assist those OTHER places where these ancient practices are still adhered to this option is a thought for the future as talks and resolution will take a considerable time to resolve,PEACE AND TRANQUILITY are of paramont importance NOW.
"Muhammad Drammeh, speaking on behalf of the nobles said the elders from both sides held talks with the Station Officer of Diabugu Police Station Inspector, Kumbi Sarjo when they eventually came to terms that case will be resolved by civil engagement.

ALL PARTIES OBVIOUSLY RESPECT THE LAW OF THE LAND note the place above where initial discussions took place.


November 8, 2018
There are knowledgeable people in Diabugu. Some are scholars who are exposed to the Constitution. Others are clerics who are exposed to the teachings of the Constitution.

Both the Constitution and religious teachings call for good neighbourliness. Religious teachings have given examples where those who were enslaved in the past were made free persons as compensation for inability to observe certain obligations as prescribed by their holy books.

On the other hand, constitutions have decided to defend the human rights of all human beings and have therefore abolished forced labour, servitude or inhuman or degrading punishment or treatment.

The scholars and clerics of Sandu should meet and recite parts of the Constitution and the Holy book that makes it a virtue to free people held in bondage and then call on all who, by tradition, hold others in bondage to agree to release them. In this way a big ceremony could be held to mark the day when the children of the free born and those held in bondage could hold hands and show solidarity to each other that they are together as one and would never be divided again on the basis of birth. They will now work together as one to make Sandu and Diabugu to be a place fit to live in liberty, dignity and prosperity. This is one way forward.

Foroyaa will pursue this matter to promote a resolution of this teething problem confronting national unity and cohesion.

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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9533 Posts

Posted - 09 Nov 2018 :  17:36:25  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
NEW GAMBIA is like an express train speeding along the path of Democratisation and Development of a developing West African country, in so many ways trying to keep up with the lightning speed is quite difficult. I have just realised that I started a very relevant topic that can be read in the link below, this topic should have been posted there,I apoligise for my mistake.

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.

Edited by - toubab1020 on 09 Nov 2018 17:37:44
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9533 Posts

Posted - 13 Nov 2018 :  21:01:24  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
November 13, 2018

On Friday November 9th 2018, the Police reinforcement that comprised Police Intervention Unit (PIU) Officers, were commanded to withdraw from Diabugu village, as calm returns. The reinforcement of the Officers came in the wake of a caste scuffle between villagers after Friday prayers. The caste scuffles left some people with body pain and arrest were made. Now that the situation is said to return to normal, the PIU officers who were deployed to reinforce security in Diabugu, have been commanded to withdraw and return to their base in Fatoto.

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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9533 Posts

Posted - 13 Nov 2018 :  21:10:56  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote

There could not be a better outcome in this village,the people of the village must have been very concerned when their problem hit the headlines.There cannot be a better example set for other populations who are still adopting ancient ways,to come into the light of Modern times in the NEW GAMBIA,their experience in formulating a way to resolve a problem in a peaceful and calm manner must be applauded.

QUESTION OF THE DAY November 13, 2018

The caste system in The Gambia can be addressed without resorting to violence. What is important is for people to realise that even though the caste system is around many people who are classified to belong to inferior castes have now gone through the process of education or income generation to enable them to have better lives than some of those who claim to be of noble birth. The reason why certain religions survive is because of the capacity to show tolerance to others. That is why there are injunctions for the freeborn who subscribe to certain religions to free a slave to compensate for one’s failure to adhere to some religious obligations.

Diabugu could provide an example by holding community meetings and inviting prominent persons to discuss how to become one by forgiving and forgetting and voluntarily declaring to free those who were considered to be their slaves. We therefore hope that peace will be maintained so that the dialogue will eventually solve the problem.

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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